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State Update: Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New Mexico, and New York Make Moves on Gun Laws

By: Teresa Mull

The fight in state legislatures to increase and decrease gun control across the nation has not slowed down.

Here’s a look at what’s happening across the U.S.:

Florida
In Florida, State Rep. Margaret Good filed a bill that's not so good. It would require background checks on nearly every firearm transfer.

“I don’t know if people understand that if you buy off the internet in Florida, if you buy off of Craiglist or you do it person to person, a background check is not required,” Good said. “That’s easy access for violent criminals to buy guns.”

The NRA reports on the bill:

Transfers of Firearms by Rep. Margaret Good (D) prohibits the TRANSFER of a firearm from one law-abiding citizen to another without first having a background check performed by a licensed firearms dealer.

Transfer means sale, giving, lending, renting, or simply handing a firearm to another person or any action that causes a firearm to be transferred from one law-abiding person to another law-abiding person.

In other words, you must go to a licensed firearms dealer to have a background check done on your best friend just to lend him a hunting rifle to go on a hunting trip. You must also pay the dealer an administrative fee PLUS the background check fee charged by FDLE (Florida Department of Law Enforcement).

Georgia
Georgia has legislators from both sides of the aisle pushing for and against more gun control.

According to U.S. News and World Report:

A closely watched House bill that would allow Georgia gun owners to open or concealed carry any legally-owned firearm without a permit moved from pre-filed status and was officially introduced Wednesday. While the bill is authored by a Republican, GOP leaders in the House have opposed the measure, so its prospects of moving forward are unclear.

A bill introduced by House Democrats would make it a felony punishable by five years in prison to print of produce a 3D printed gun. Another bill, introduced by House Minority Leader Bob Trammell, aims to repeal the state's 2017 campus carry law, which opened parts of public universities to permit holders that wish to carry a concealed gun.

The Democratic proposals are also unlikely to gain much traction in the GOP-led House.

Maryland
Maryland lawmakers will consider a law to increase background checks for gun purchases and a bill to ban the printing of 3-D guns.

CecilDaily.com reports:

One measure Maryland lawmakers will take up this year would close a loophole that enables people who buy rifles and shotguns from unlicensed sellers online or at gun shows without a background check.

Lawmakers in Maryland also are considering legislation to ban weapons commonly called "ghost guns." They can be built at home with 3D printers or from parts of kits available online, and because they can be made from plastic the guns can be undetectable by security at airports or other places where guns are prohibited.

New Mexico
New Mexico lawmakers will debate several gun control bills in the coming weeks.

KRQUE reports:

Rep. Sarinana is sponsoring one of the four gun-control bills being heard at the House Judiciary Committee. Her bill, HB 8, would make it illegal to sell or buy a gun without a background check.

The other bills call for background checks when people buy or sell at a gun show.
Another takes guns away from people if they're charged with domestic violence, and one bill allows the court to issue a search warrant to confiscate guns in a home if someone in the household is in danger.

New York
The New York legislature, the Daily Gazette reports, approved six gun-related bills last week and sent them to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desk for signature. If (who are we kidding?) - when - they become law, they will:

"• Bar teachers from bringing guns into schools.
• Set up gun-buyback programs.
• Create a so-called Red Flag Law, allowing judges to confiscate firearms from people suspected of being at high risk of violence but not charged with committing violence.
• Ban bump stocks and similar devices that allow a legal semiautomatic rifle to mimic the rapid automatic fire of an illegal machine gun.
• Expand background checks to include mental health records in other states.
• Extend to 30 days the waiting period for prospective gun buyers whose federal background check is neither approved nor denied. (Under current New York law, the gun sale can be completed if there has been no determination by the feds after three days.)"

The Gazette also reports lawmakers are considering passing a law mandating the “safe storage” of firearms.

Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at teresa@gunpowdermagazine.com.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Gunpowder Magazine.